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The Final Testament of the Holy Bible

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  3,157 ratings  ·  328 reviews
James Frey isn't like other writers. He's been called a liar. A cheat. A con man. He's been called a saviour. A revolutionary. A genius. He's been sued by readers. Dropped by publishers because of his controversies. Berated by TV talk-show hosts and condemned by the media. He's been exiled from America, and driven into hiding. He's also a bestselling phenomenon. Published ...more
Hardcover, 398 pages
Published April 12th 2011 by John Murray (first published 2011)
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Jason
Apr 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: for-kindle, 2011, reviewed
Eh. I was hoping to proclaim this Frey’s best work. It sure starts off that way, and I think that says a lot coming from me ‘cause I sort of think he's a li’l punk. Definitely an interesting read, though, and the writing style is pure Frey (you either love him or hate him). He certainly tries to shock and awe, and even though I agree almost wholeheartedly with Frey’s views in this novel (the one area where I don’t is that I’m sort of pro-monogamy), and the idea of getting institutions like the C ...more
Nate
Jul 30, 2011 rated it did not like it
I never really got the ranting angry bitter Goodreads reviews until now. Seriously, this is a terrible book. I'm not offended by the content or the characterization because I'm a grown up and can understand the concept of fiction. But holy shit you've got to be kidding me James Frey. You've got to be kidding me.

First off, let's address the thing about all of Frey's work. His writing sucks. His prose is atrocious. You know that rule that all beginning writers learn "show don't tell." And then yo
...more
Valinor
May 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book from Amazon, after reading a short synopsis of it in the back pages of Grazia magazine.

I'm halfway through and I refuse to finish it.

I know how the story ends and oddly enough, this book moves me more than the actual bible. It makes me sad. It makes me think about life. And most of all, it makes me question religion. Most of the things Ben says are true- and because they're so true, it hit me so hard.

I loved the character of Mariangeles, a modern day version of Mary Magdalene
...more
Brandon
Apr 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, favorites, 2011
I'm not a religious man by any means.

Growing up, my parents never involved me with any part of their religion. I was the kind of kid that had to attend church on Christmas and possibly Easter. Actually, organized religion sort of frightens me and I'm not really quite sure why. I think it has something to do with the religious fanatics that populate our world. Perhaps it's the fact that some wars are started or heavily involved due to religious beliefs; that or it's used as a motivational factor
...more
G.
Apr 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Regardless of what you think of Frey, there is no denying the man's talent. I happen to think he's one of our finest writers and the Final Testament is like a summation of Frey's journey: bold, courageous, provocative,obscene, funny, heart-felt, outrageous, shocking, thoughtful, crazy, amazing, head-shaking, but most of all, unforgettable. The dude is fearless and if you're open enough, it's a journey well worth taking. A major work that will piss off many but fulfill many more.
Andrew Shaffer
Apr 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
After months of hype (from both critics and Frey), "The Final Testament of the Holy Bible" finally landed in the US on Good Friday. As many readers and critics have said, the idea of Jesus Christ returning in the modern era is not exactly a fresh concept--but, then again, neither was a memoir of drug addiction, and Frey certainly knocked that one out of the park.

Let's set aside everything you know about Frey for a moment. "The Final Testament" is a much kinder and gentler book than you might ex
...more
Nancy
May 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Two words:
1. Blasphemous
2. Brilliant

First of all, the writing style in this book is SO James Frey. If I hadn’t known who the author was, I would have figured it out in a page or two.

I also loved the marketing/packaging. In a bible box, with silver edged pages, and all Ben's words in red. All that was missing (and I was surprised it was) was the attached ribbon book mark.

Being a relentless Christian, this book was a like a car wreck. It made me totally sick, but I couldn’t put it down. It didn
...more
Sarah
Aug 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
What a difficult book to rate!

The first 100 pages were brilliant and I couldn't put it down. I was totally sucked in from the beginning and couldn't wait to find out what happened. I loved having the story unfold through the eyes of the different characters. I found it interesting how we never once got to hear the story from the protagonist's point of view. Although it would have been nice to see things through Ben's eyes I felt that this kept the story a bit more intriguing.

By the middle of th
...more
Sam Quixote
Jul 15, 2011 rated it liked it
A man called Ben Zion working on a construction site gets brained by a massive piece of plate glass dropped by a crane but somehow doesn't die. Following his recovery he begins performing miracles, told in the book by his "disciples" - could he be the second coming of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, returned?

But this Messiah doesn't act like the Messiah in the Bible. He "loves" everyone sure, but does so sexually, literally instigating orgies and having sex with men and women. And while Ben Zion can
...more
Emily
May 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion, fiction, 2011
This book was written to be controversial and it certainly was. Basically, the book was about a man named Ben Zion Avrohom being born in the 20th century and he is Jesus Christ reborn. The story is written in different chapters each told from the viewpoint of a friend or family member of Ben, much like the New Testament. Even though Ben is the Messiah, he is not like anything people have been preaching about or expecting for 2000 years. He does drugs, he sleeps around with both men and women, he ...more
Lipsy
Apr 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, keepers, lgbt
I didn’t know anything about A Million Little Pieces before I read it. I didn’t know it had been marketed as a memoir rather than fiction so I totally missed the whole hype and scandal because I never thought it was anything other than fiction…fiction that I fell in love with it instantly. There’s something about his streamofconsciousness style that I just can’t get enough of, so simple, fierce yet beautiful in some way. When Bright Shiny Morning came out I was really disappointed so I didn’t k ...more
Amy
Jan 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: done
I wanted to read this book for 2 reasons. 1, James Frey, wonderful author. No matter what Oprah says, he is gifted and writes amazing books. 2, questions religion, which more people need to do.

This book had me from the beginning. I read it in 3 days and would stay up most of the night reading. It was that good. What I liked about it was the main character, Ben Zion. He is the an unexpected Messiah, who doesn't preach brimstone and fire. He talks about LOVE. That is the main focus of the book; L
...more
Alejandro Tinajero
Apr 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Frey is a great storyteller, and this book is no exception.
Bill
Aug 16, 2011 rated it did not like it
James Frey does not cite it, but it is clear after reading The Final Testament Of The Holy Bible that he must be using John Lennon’s “All You Need Is Love” and “Imagine” (sprinkled with XTC’s “Dear God”) as his primary theology for his latest book. I only wish John Lennon had written this gospel – at least it would have had humour. Instead, despite all the crazy sex and the repeated organized religion smackdowns, the book is boring. Maybe this is why it didn’t register on the radar of even my mo ...more
Anda
Sep 25, 2011 rated it liked it
This is the most hippy book I have read; more hippy than a beat has ever written, with the clear message that “love and laughter and fucking make one’s life better” (pag 259)
Hearing that James Frey has been sued by his readers, I couldn’t wait to read “The Final Testament of the Holy Bible”. But I had to wait three months until the only copy from the Danish Public Library became available. And, of course, I had great expectations, which only partially were fulfilled. The subject is challenging:
...more
Abbie Simons
Oct 11, 2013 rated it liked it
I picked up this book both because I liked "A Million Little Pieces" and because I wanted to challenge myself. Not in a literary sense, because Frey is a writer who doesn't really hassle himself over creating elaborate or complex sentences--he pretty much spells everything out for you and doesn't often use punctuation other than RAMPANT PERIODS (not the first time I've said that phrase, heh). Periods everywhere (again, heh). But I knew this book would challenge me in that the subject matter woul ...more
Maggy Eijk
I'm disappointed.

I should first explain that I am a Frey fan-girl. I read A Million Little Pieces when I was a teenager and I've been hooked on his work ever since. I thought Bright Shiny Morning was amazing despite what a lot of the critics were saying, some of the characters in that novel are unforgettable. So when The Final Testament came out I ran to the bookshops and hugged and cradled my hardback copy.

My main issue with the book is its core message: the idea that religion causes division b
...more
Tina
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Yes, this did begin just as I hoped it would . It was James Frey at his very best. I couldn't put it down and I couldn't stop thinking about what was going to eventuate. Frey is the only author I've ever read who has perfected the art of turning his reader into an addict. As a reader you are instantly addicted to the waves of shock, suspense and brutal honesty. The first third of this novel was exactly that - shocking, amazingly honest and downright addictive. And then, I became furious with Fre ...more
Sarah
Jan 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I am a self-profound Atheist, but when I was reading the bio on this book it reminded me of Frey's other book Bright Shiny Morning. Since I loved that book, I thought this would be an interesting choice because of it's relation to religion and the comparison in how the story was told from the view points of various characters. I was quite surprised at how much I enjoyed this book and the way that one character in the book was the sole purpose for how the other characters were linked. The story i ...more
Sheri
Oct 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
After reading Quo Vadis and its glowing fictional story centered on the beginning of Christianity, it seemed only appropriate to read James Frey's "The Final Testament Of The Holy Bible." In this, Frey's latest novel, the Messiah comes to one of the boroughs of NY, and it's as messy as you'd expect. The plot unfolds as a series of witness narratives, testaments as it were, although we sometimes refer to accounts like this as social histories in the style of a Studs Terkel, or even that of Max Br ...more
Susan
Sep 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I know Frey in controversial. I don't care. He's a great storyteller. I've liked all his work and I think the first chapter of A Million Little Pages is one of the best first-person hooks ever. This book is pretty special. With the title he just courts controversy and the first edition I have looks like a bible: small format, tissue pages with silver edges, a (faux?) leather cover. So the actual edition sets the tone perfectly. The book itself is a really interesting story which effectively asks ...more
MomIsReading
May 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'm totally torn on how to review this book. Was it interesting? Oh yes, incredibly so. There were times I wanted to give it a 3 because, frankly, all the orgy stuff was just a little too extreme to me in the context of the book itself. I wanted to wait a few days before I reviewed it to think on it and it is my perception that Mr. Frey chose extreme as his theme throughout the book on purpose. To be the extreme opposite of the religious right. Mr. Frey hits on many huge points that are cracks i ...more
Jackie
Apr 13, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
All you need to know about this book to save to the time and energy to read something that tries SOOOO darned hard to be controversial and edgy:

Quote page 152: "Love and laughter and f@*king make one's life better. Worship is just the passing of time."

and surprise surprise-- the "Jesus" figure, Ben, is persecuted for spreading this new dogma. not offended at all b/c a lot of the concepts i agree with-- just so darned BORING to read versions of this same concept over and over again. i get it-- f@
...more
Tony Laplume
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
Yeah. When the James Frey/Oprah thing happened, I felt bad for Frey. I thought he'd been made into a martyr by a media darling who'd finally overplayed her hand. Eventually I read Frey for myself. No, not A Million Little Pieces, but the later, entirely literary effort Bright Shiny Morning, and I liked it and I thought once again about the raw deal Frey got from Oprah. Then I heard that he'd written The Final Testament, and I thought, that's just perfect. Finally he would justify his real worth. ...more
Ismail Elshareef
Oct 20, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
I couldn't wait for this book to come out, considering that Frey's "Bright Shiny Morning (P.S.)" is one of my very few all-time favorite books. I ordered both the $50 leather-bound book and the $10 Kindle edition because I wanted to have the story with me wherever I went; to read it whenever I wanted; to savor it whenever I needed.

Well, it didn't quite pan out that way.

My anticipation was met with a colossal disappointment at the third-rate writing (absolutely uncharacteristic of Frey's, by th
...more
Stefanie Price
Mar 20, 2012 rated it liked it
James Frey is my favourite writer by quite a margin. I wanted this book to be great. Better than great - I wanted it to fill the hole that an absence of Frey novels in recent years has created.

It started so promisingly, the premise was fantastic and the method of telling the story of a modern day Messiah through the eyes of those who came into contact with him gave the narrative texture and colour. Particularly wonderfully Frey-like were the accents and individual voices that jumped out of the
...more
Annette
Feb 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is the story of the messiah returning to earth told from the viewpoints of the people he affected while here. It is set in modern day New York. The messiah, Ben, basically rips apart modern day religion and politics. He tells people that the closest thing you'll get to God is an orgasm and that the Bible, Torah, and all other religious books are fiction. He does some of the typical messiah-type things like healing people and loving everyone, but he does a lot of non-typical things, too ...more
Phil Ansell
Jun 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
This had the potential to be an amazing book. The first half had me hooked, I couldn't put it down. I found it fast paced and gripping as it followed the story of Ben Zion who was believed to be the Messiah, and was told from the viewpoint of the different characters whose lives were touched by Ben. It was full of some really good ideas and it was clear that Frey had done a huge amount of reasearch into religions and had a good understanding of them.

However after a gripping start it quickly went
...more
K. Chris Roby
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
I recently saw the buzz surrounding the book and wanted to check it out. I enjoyed the style in which it was written, with various individuals writing about the protagonist in their own styles and with their own unique viewpoints. However, as the book progressed, it became clear that the author was attempting to use a supernatural character to assert an anti-supernatural point of view. The fictional laws of any universe created by an author must be consistent in order to create the belief needed ...more
Denise DeSio
Jun 03, 2012 rated it liked it
I hate to agree with the masses, but most of the reviews are right on. The beginning of the book was awesome. Ghetto-drug-addict-hooker-baby-mama is totally transformed by the love of a free-wheeling hippie who makes her feel like she IS somebody. Loved it. But as the story progresses and each character relates his or her own version of a relationship with Ben, a pattern emerges, and then repetition ensues.

Okay, I get it. I get it. Religion bad. Love good. No heaven or hell. Just this life. And
...more
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James Christopher Frey is an American author and entrepreneur. After battling with alcohol addiction and spending time in rehab, he wrote A Million Little Pieces which was published in 2003 in America and the following year in the UK to critical acclaim. He wrote the sequel, My Friend Leonard about life after rehab, which was published in 2005 in the US and the year after in the UK.

James Frey now
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“And as ridiculous as it may sound, sometimes all any of us needs in life is for someone to hold our hand and walk next to us.” 100 likes
“The past doesn't matter. People cling to it because it allows them to ignore the present.” 66 likes
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